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SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

‘No risk’ to bank details as city’s park-by-phone data breached

SOME 5,000 park by phone customers were affected by last week's data breach in Cork.

On Friday, Cork City Council confirmed that Park Magic, the operator of the city's park-by-phone application, had been hacked, with personal information such as email addresses accessed.

Park Magic confirmed that no banking information or passwords were affected and that the hack is now under investigation by An Garda Siochana and the Data Protection Commissioner.

The incident prompted members of Cork City Council to call on the local authority to beef up its cybersecurity amid fears of further attempts to access information.

Fianna Fail's Kenneth O'Flynn said that he had been contacted by city ratepayers and local authority renters who feared that their information may have also been targeted in similar attacks.

Mr O'Flynn's sentiments were echoed by other members of the council, including Fine Gael's John Buttimer who said that other public bodies, such as the HSE, have been targeted in recent years too.

"We need to be able to reassure not just the 5,000 people affected but the 26,000 other customers and, indeed, users of other council services that their data is safe," Mr Buttimer said.

City Hall chief Ann Doherty said that an assessment of the situation by KPMG indicated that the breach was contained and that there was no further risk.

"Our incident management team was satisfied that there is no risk in any way to banking information of any of the customers so the service will continue," she told councillors.

Ruth Buckley, City Hall's ICT director, said that the issue of cyber attacks is one that faces every public body in the country.

She said that cybersecurity needs greater investment at all levels.

"We are under constant attack," Ms Buckley said.

"Every organisation is getting daily attacks. ICT is something that has seen under investment in the entire public service.

"While there was no data breach internally, we have to remind everyone to remain vigilant. More than 50% of all cyber attacks are initiated with some element of in-house intervention."

City Hall has commissioned a full report into the Park Magic breach.